***edited at the bottom***
A few years ago, Kevin and I went through a difficult period. There was loss of a job and illness all rolled up together. I was under a great deal of stress trying to keep everything running smoothly, pay the bills and care for the two loves of my life. There was no time for friends or any extras. I just plodded through the days, one after the other, attempting to keep my head above water.
After about 3 years of living this way, I fell into a group of wonderful women friends. It's a large group and everyone is so different. They are a pretty outgoing group too. When we are all together there is much laughter, shopping, eating, dancing and general craziness. I was convinced that this was what my life should be about. I should be having fun! I'd been struggling for so long that now it was my turn. I deserved to get away for girls weekends. I deserved a break from the mundane. I should be going out listening to music. I should be out shopping for more fashionable, sexier clothes. I should be doing all sorts of things for ME. So I did. I did all of those things and guess what? They didn't make me happy either. Not truly happy. I was trying to be someone I'm not and we all know that never works in the long run. Yes, I love spending time with my friends. They are amazing and they make me laugh and they actually listen to me when I talk. I'm looking forward to seeing them in a couple of months because it's been a very long time since I've seen them. I've learned though, that bars and music aren't really my thing. I'll never be fashionable or sexy. I don't feel all that refreshed after a girls weekend, but I do feel guilty for leaving my husband and son. I learned that being a wife and mom is my thing. It always has been and it always will be.
I've spent a great deal of time thinking and praying about who I really am. What my purpose in life is. The answer is that I'm a wife, mother and daughter. That's it. I'm not going to change the world and I'm not going to decorate the world. (ala Baby & Lisa in Dirty Dancing) I'm just going to be a mom. A friend of mine wrote in a blog that there was a time when she saw herself turning into a soccer mom and it scared her to death. For a time I thought it should scare me too but now I know that's who I'm supposed to be. Okay, so I'm a Boy Scout mom instead of a soccer mom, but the result is the same. I just feel like I've been let out of jail or something. I'm free from the struggle that has gone on inside of me for so long. This is who I am and I won't apologize for it or try to change for anyone. I'm a God loving wife and mother. Period.
Now that I've had this great revelation, I'm overwhelmed with all the thoughts in my head and information on the web on being a wife and mother. I've never eased into anything in my life. I always jump in enthusiastically, ready to take on the world. So, I want to do it all! I want to be a great wife and mother. I want to declutter my house. I want to make my own cleaning supplies. I want to plant a garden and can vegetables. I want to start sewing and crocheting again. I want to create a haven in my home. I want to become a bible scholar. I want to simplify my life. I want to start a mom's group. I want to learn to cook really tasty and nutritious meals. I want to craft my own gifts and make a Christmas planner....in August.
Can you see why I'm going crazy over here? I want to makeover my whole life in about 3 days. At this rate I'll lose my marbles. I know I need to slow down and ease into everything but that's so hard. Every blog I read has the most wonderful ideas for creating a lovely yet simple home. They have recipes. They have crafts to make. They have information on being a good wife and mother. It's all right there for me to read and absorb. There are so many fabulous women out there writing and sharing their hearts with others. The internet is an amazing place.
So, here I am, spinning in circles trying to do it all. I have a lot to learn and a lot of work to do to but it feels so incredible to have the fog lifted away so that I can see which direction I'm going.
Edited to add: Joanne pointed out this Psalm to me in her comment. It's perfect for me right now.
A prayer of Moses the man of God.
1 Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. 2 Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. 3 You turn men back to dust, saying, "Return to dust, O sons of men." 4 For a thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night. 5 You sweep men away in the sleep of death; they are like the new grass of the morning- 6 though in the morning it springs up new, by evening it is dry and withered. 7 We are consumed by your anger and terrified by your indignation. 8 You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence. 9 All our days pass away under your wrath; we finish our years with a moan. 10 The length of our days is seventy years— or eighty, if we have the strength; yet their span is but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away. 11 Who knows the power of your anger? For your wrath is as great as the fear that is due you. 12 Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. 13 Relent, O LORD! How long will it be? Have compassion on your servants. 14 Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. 15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, for as many years as we have seen trouble. 16 May your deeds be shown to your servants, your splendor to their children. 17 May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us— yes, establish the work of our hands.